Indiana House faces debate over GOP abortion ban exceptions

Indianapolis (AP) — Republicans who dominate Indiana’s Legislature are divided over how they should impose a proposed ban on nearly all abortion as debate on the bill moved to the State House Monday after narrow weekend approval of the Senate proposal .

Significant disagreement included whether exceptions to the ban should be acceptable to rape and incest victims, while a prominent House conservative said they believed the Senate-approved version would prohibit the many abortions claimed by its sponsor. will not.

A House committee is scheduled for Tuesday to hear public testimony on the motion, and changes to it could possibly be debated before a vote on moving the bill to the full House.

Many anti-abortion activists oppose the version approved by a 26-20 vote in the Republican-dominated Senate on Saturday, arguing that it is too lax and opposes the rape and incest exceptions included in the bill that would normally Timely abortion will be prohibited. Fertilized egg implants in the uterus.

Republican House Speaker Todd Huston and GOP Representative Wendy McNamara of Evansville, who is sponsoring the bill in the House, both said Monday they are in favor of allowing those exceptions.

McNamara said the law should be “honest to those who experienced trauma in rape and incest situations.”

Indiana is one of the first Republican legislatures to consider stricter abortion laws that aren’t already on the books, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturned Roe v. Wade. West Virginia lawmakers passed a chance Friday to approve an abortion ban, which included exceptions for victims of rape and incest, as well as medical emergencies. That move delayed further action until later in August.

Indiana Republican Rep. Tim Vesco of Osceola said he and other social conservatives would push for a stricter definition of acceptable abortion, along with removing rape and incest exceptions from the bill. Vesco said he did not know whether the push would be successful, but disagreed with supporters of the bill that maintains it would ban nearly all abortions in the state.

“I think this bill passed the Senate and is ineffective and has some significant problems that potentially we have rollbacks to existing legislation as well,” Vesco said.

Indiana’s proposal sparked a political storm over a 10-year-old rape victim, who traveled to the state from neighboring Ohio, to terminate a pregnancy. The case attracted attention when an Indianapolis doctor said the baby had to come to Indiana because a newly enacted Ohio law prohibits abortion if cardiac activity can be detected in the fetus or fetus, possibly as early as six weeks into the pregnancy. inside.

Such abortions would still be allowed under the Indiana resolution, although the Senate-approved version limits how long rape and incest victims have to undergo abortions. Those 16 or older can have up to eight weeks of pregnancy to sign a notarized affidavit confirming the assault, while those under 16 will have up to 12 weeks.

The bill also includes provisions under which doctors could face serious criminal charges and up to six years in prison for performing an illegal abortion. That’s the potential penalty for having an abortion under Indiana’s current 20-week ban.

Representatives from several medical groups have expressed concern about doctors possibly being questioned and prosecuted for their medical decisions.

The Indiana Hospital Association said in a statement that it is concerned about a new state abortion law “creating an environment that would be perceived as hostile to physicians.”

“We caution our public officials against sending signals that could further exacerbate our health care workforce shortages and jeopardize access to care,” said hospital union president Brian Tabor. “We urge lawmakers to protect all medical professionals from liability and other repercussions while working in good faith to comply with state laws while providing life-saving care to Hoosier mothers and babies.”

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